03/06/2011 - Southland track cycling star Eddie Dawkins is on his way home from Germany after injury hampered his buildup to next year's London Olympics.
Dawkins could be back as early as this weekend following a heavy crash while racing at Tula, near Moscow.
He returned to the New Zealand sprint team's base in Germany this week but it was decided he should come home to continue his rehabilitation.
New Zealand sprint coach Justin Grace said Dawkins was being troubled by a shoulder injury.
"Eddie had a heavy crash in Tula and suffered from general bruising, a sore shoulder and lost some skin," Grace said.
"He was very determined to ride at the weekend in Moscow because we had a sprint team event and there were only the three riders at the meet in Moscow. We put him off first and while he managed his lap it was clear that he was a long way from fully fit."
With only a month left in the campaign and Dawkins unlikely to be back riding in that time, the decision was made to send him home, Grace said.
"Therefore we decided he would be better off back home to rest and recover before building up for our World Cup campaign later in the year."
The New Zealand squad is based in Cottbus, 125km from Berlin, and includes Aucklanders Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell and Palmerston North's Simon van Velthooven, who has also been recovering from a crash.
Southland's Matt Archibald and Mitchell's sister, Henrietta, joined the team this week. Dawkins, who won bronze and silver at last year's Commonwealth Games, was part of a heavy fall at the Manchester World Cup meet in February where he produced the now famous quote: "I'm from New Zealand, we don't feel pain".
Article courtesy of the Southland Times